By James Herold
Air quality is getting bad in cities like New York City, Detroit, and Toronto. This is due to wildfires in Central Canada fueling smoky air and smog. Here in West Michigan, advisories and other warnings are being posted as most of the smoky air is expected to hit the region this weekend.
According to the National Weather Service Grand Rapids, Michigan has declared an Air Quality Alert through Thursday, June 8 for parts of Southern Michigan due to smoke particles from wildfires in Canada. People with vulnerable lungs are encouraged to limit outdoor activities.
A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, Nathan Jeruzal, said that people should be “wearing masks” to prevent the inhalation of smog from the wildfires.
GRCC Student Rachel Carlton, 27, said, “I have definitely been keeping an eye on the air quality as well and it’s also very bad today especially in New York and… in areas like D.C. My sister lives there and they are told to stay inside right now. It’s very concerning.”
Another GRCC Student said, “I think Climate Change plays a role. I would be curious to see whether Canada has had a dry year in terms of rainfall. I’d be curious to look at those numbers. All the extreme weather patterns, there’s got to be a cause…”
The Grand Rapids area is in the moderate stage for air quality with no rain in the forecast until Sunday. These wildfires have many wondering how climate change is impacting our world and health.
“I would say it does play a factor with climate change…” Carlton said. “I mean I hope they can get the fires out sooner rather than later, but I’m sure it’s been hot, it’s been dry.”